EARLY-ON DETAILED ACTIONS FOR BOTH SELLERS AND BUYERS
IN PREPARING FOR THE MARKET
If you are thinking of selling your home and/or buying a home, it is never too early to begin your preparations for the market. If you have selected a market date for being active on the market, that date that you have chosen will be here faster than you think. We recommend that you be among those wise buyers and sellers who prepare early for the market.
For sellers, we recommend first reviewing our Getting Started steps for sellers in The Resource Center on our Team web site. This includes contacting us now to get an expert pricing analysis and marketing plan completed for your home (at no cost or obligation). This is a critical step in knowing what your home is really worth and, once completed, we can easily update the pricing analysis just before you actually place the property on the market. This way, you will know that your home is properly priced for the market on Day 1. Likewise, we can view your home with you and provide recommendations on preparing your home for the market. At minimum, we recommend that you start now in completing the inexpensive things in preparing your home for the market. These steps will give you a leg-up on the competition and will reward you significantly for the time, energy and expense of properly preparing the home for the market. The inexpensive things that every seller should complete include: de-cluttering, painting and cleaning (normally completed in this order). First, de-clutter by packing, storing, selling, giving away or throwing away those items that you do not plan to use in the next 90 days (or ever). Then, get a good handyman to fix all the little things that need repaired in the home (wood-rot, cracks, holes and leaks). With repairs completed, you or your handyman can paint rooms where needed (more expensive) or roller-blend the lower walls in halls, rooms and near doorways that only need freshened up (less expensive). Finally, do a top-to-bottom cleaning of the house (including windows inside and out) and ending with carpet cleaning just before going on the market. All these preparations take time if done properly, so starting early with these actions will reduce stress throughout the selling process and will better ensure that all goes more smoothly. Our experience is that sellers who do these pre-market preparations are rewarded tremendously for their time and efforts.
For buyers, we recommend first reviewing our Getting Started steps for buyers in The Resource Center on our Team web site. If you have a home to sell first, we commend you to review and follow our recommendations for sellers noted above. Then, as a buyer, you need to be sensitive to the fact that getting a mortgage loan is the biggest challenge to buying a home in the current market. You will want to review and correct any errors that can detract on your credit record so as to optimize your credit scores in that your credit scores are very important to getting a preferred mortgage rate. The steps to correcting most errors on your credit record can be time consuming and can easily take two to three months in many cases. At the same time, you will want to make formal application with a mortgage lender to get yourself mortgage pre-approved. This is a very important step that you do not want to take casually in the current mortgage market -- the application must be accurate and complete. Further, if you know that there may be red flags in your file that may surface, please disclose this to your mortgage loan officer upfront. Lenders have numerous systems to find the red flags and you do not want a red flag coming up during the final processing and underwriting of a mortgage loan for a property under contrax that you have contracted to purchase. The delays in loan processing could prove under contract – this could prove to be quite embarrassing and could result in a contract breech in failing to perform on your sales contract. Also, simultaneously, you will want to begin to focus your future home search by reviewing active listings available in the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS). You will find the Northern Virginia Dream Homes MLS search site available on our Team website very easy to use. You will also want to write down your home selection criteria in categories (must have, would like to have, etc.) and you may find the Home Finder Questionnaire on our web site helpful also. Likewise, you may want to contact us to get us to set you up with a realtor-refined auto-email search for properties in the MLS and to have the search results and updates auto-emailed to you. Our buyer clients have found that this latter step has saved them a lot of time and effort because their search is more focused – and they do not miss out on properties of interest.
If you have questions as a seller or buyer, please call 703-421-1433 or send us an email today..